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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Republican Death Panels

Posted by on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Eli doesn't use the word, but it should be clear by now that Rob McKenna's established position on health care reform is total bullshit. He says he's not opposed to most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, largely just the so-called "individual mandate," yet admits that most of the other provisions can't survive with out it. (Except when he doesn't.)

The fact is you can't eliminate exclusions for preexisting conditions without penalizing healthy people who choose not to purchase insurance, because otherwise there would be zero incentive to purchase insurance until one got sick, and that would just make insurance unaffordable for those that have it. It would be like purchasing fire insurance, but only after your house burned down. Imagine the premiums.

McKenna understands this. As do most of his fellow Republicans. And they also understand that without the near universal coverage provided by the ACA (or better yet, a public option or single-payer system) the uninsured will continue to burden the rest of us through the ever ballooning cost of their uncompensated care.

So my question for McKenna and his fellow Republicans is: When do you grow the balls to call for legislation allowing emergency rooms, clinics, and other medical providers to simply deny care to people who can't pay for it? Conservatives are all for "personal responsibility" and everything, so at what point if you show up at an emergency room with a serious injury or illness do we just allow you to die?

Republicans like to talk about the need to live within our means. Well, it's time for them to be honest with voters and start talking about the need to die within it as well. Likewise, if it's unconstitutional to require some people to purchase insurance, it also must be unconstitutional to require those that do purchase it to pay for the consequences of those that don't.

Can't get much more free market than that.


Comments (20) RSS

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Allyn 1
So we have to have a way to get everyone insured, yet the government can’t force them to pay out of pocket. We (our government of the people) can’t fine or tax people for failing to acquire insurance, yet we’d all save money if everyone were insured.

So we need to:
Get everybody covered
Not make people pay for it directly

Any ideas, Canada? France, you got anything on this?
Posted by Allyn on March 27, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
@1 One of the reasons that the SCOTUS will probably let the individual mandate stand, is that shooting down Obamacare could lead to Medicare for all (i.e. the single payer system).
Posted by Ken Mehlman on March 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Allyn 3
@2 Yes, though that's the system I'd prefer.I think it would be great if scotus did stike it down, if that would lead to the next step of opening medicare to everyone.
Posted by Allyn on March 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM · Report this
@2 & @3 if that happened Obama would be the sneakiest genius ever in American politics.
Posted by CbytheSea on March 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM · Report this
The problem of course is that the health care plan as is won't fix our health care system. We need single payer. The Romney/ Obama plan is already costing jobs, and has allowed health insurance companies to gouge customers.

While the plan will insure 30 million more people, and that's awesome, it will still leave many millions uninsured and the cost of insurance will remain high with decreased benefits. Anyone who has been buying insurance over the last 20 years will attest to how rates have skyrockets while benefits have dwindled. Obama's plan won't fix that trend.

The "exchange" is the crux of the issue. It's supposed to create competition among insurance plans. But there is a panel who decides what insurance companies and what plans get to be in the exchange. And guess who is on the panel, appointed by the Dems.....the large insurance companies. And they get to keep out of the exchange any plans they don't like, for instance plans like Qliance.

Obama and the Dems in Washington are allowing the health insurance companies to make massive profits from what will be a mandated health insurance system. It's a sham. The only thing worse is the Republican non-plan.

Even the health insurance companies are laying the groundwork for higher rates under the plan...Brian Berg, a member of the Life and Health Advisory for the Insurance Commissioner's Office and co-vice president and secretary of Floyd Watkins & Associates, a Vancouver insurance firm, ..."From a premium standpoint and from a risk standpoint, it's going to do nothing but drive up rates." (…)

It's fine to slam McKenna on his bullshit. He'll make a horrible governor for many reasons. But where's your criticism of the Dems who have sold us and our health out to insurance companies?

We could fix this mess by demanding a single payer option be put into the health insurance exchange, as Vermont is doing. But we have no leadership in this state that will push for this, even with a Dem controlled government.

Posted by Meinert on March 27, 2012 at 9:41 AM · Report this
switzerblog 6
@4 they (the Stranger and Goldy at HA before he came here) spent their time criticizing the Dems, but that work is done now. The Dems are now in court defending what their jellyfish backbones hath wrought. McKenna's bullshit is fresh and ever-growing, and hence it gets the freshest light shone on it.
Posted by switzerblog on March 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this
switzerblog 7
oops, I mean @5. Sorry!
Posted by switzerblog on March 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
The republicans secretly love this plan. Shit, they're the ones who came up with the whole thing in the first place. It's not the health care act they hate, it's Obama and the democrats they hate, and they'll hate everything he does. Everything.

It's been said before, if Obama cured cancer, the republicans would still hate him and find some way to criticize the cure.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
A Public Challenge to Goldstein and the members of The Stranger staff.

Right now, there are a bunch of rightwingers protesting in front of SCOTUS against the pro-private insurance legislation, while a bunch of rightwingers on the other side, some falsely claiming to be demcrats, others so misguided and ignorant they actually believe themselves to be democratic supporters, in support of the US Chamber of Commerce (USCoC) talking points, namely that:

sending billions of dollars to the private insurance companies, and privatizing taxation, that is, ceding the power of the IRS to the private insurance companies to be used to penalize citizens, is the first step in universal healthcare.

Now think about what was just said above for a moment. Ceding money and power to the private insurance companies is a step towards universal healthcare??????????

Now what could be more insane that this present political theater of the absurd we are all witnessing?

The Challenge:

Liz Fowler, the former VP of Wellpoint (one of the two top private health insurance companies in North America), who was involved in writing this legislation, was later hired by the Obama Administration's HHS to sign waivers for health insurance companies.

How about Goldstein and some of the other Stranger staffers sending FOIA requests to find out just what those waivers that Fowler signed were all about?

[I have personally spent a fortune over the past 30 years, on my working person's salary, in filing FOIA requests, most a complete waste of time as they either were ignored, or took 10 to 25 years to respond. I believe my challenge is the least these pseudo-newsies can do. I can understand why some neocon gaytards at The Stranger are enamored with repeating the talking points from USCoC, and as an authentic democratic heterosexual I realize why I'm not, but believe they should still take up my challenge and file those FOIA requests.]
Posted by sgt_doom on March 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 10
@ 8
It's been said before, if Obama cured cancer, the republicans would still hate him and find some way to criticize the cure.

I can SO see this. They'd blame him for taking away doctors' jobs and pharma profits.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on March 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
@8, Urgutha Forka , is of course correct, but for far more subtle reasons.

It's called Other People's Money, and it has been the manner in which Wall Street operates since their inception.

Just as they R'cons claim to be against cap-and-trade, so that mindless and brainless faux crats will support this phoney extension of the shadow banking system (the creation of free money for the banksters and oil companies through carbon permits and carbon derivatives, and idea which originated in 1983 from the Reagan Administration, with the added corrupt idea of climate exchanges from the equally corrupt Enron gang).

They want those donations to pour in to pass that legislation most favorable to Wall Street, be it for cap-and-trade or this backdoor insurance/pharmaceutical industries bailout.

Posted by sgt_doom on March 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this

Right now, you can purchase an Individual plan in Washington State for as low as $120 a month.

For those 20/30-somethings working jobs without insurance, how many of you are willingly spending that amount to get health care insurance...which you will soon be forced to do under Obamacare?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on March 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 13

They'd claim that cancer is great. How dare Obama cure it?
Posted by keshmeshi on March 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
"Obamacare" is an incremental improvement over what we have now, and I remain convinced that it's about as good as Obama could have done. If he had pushed for a single payer system back in 2008 there's no chance in hell he could have passed it.

If people are right and the current incremental health reform doesn't help much, then we can push for a single payer system, but I actually kind of like some of the improvements in Obamacare, so I'd rather take what I can get for now. I don't think passing the current health reform hurts our chances for a future single payer system, so why not pass it?
Posted by SLCamper on March 27, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
One thing that I have yet to see mentioned is how much shrieking we are likely to hear when the mandate takes hold (if it stands). The thing Americans love more than anything else is a free lunch and when those who are accustomed to gambling sans insurance (mostly 'I'll never get sick' healthy young people) are forced to start paying something for health insurance all hell is likely to break loose.
Posted by Rhizome on March 27, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
"Conservatives are all for "personal responsibility" and everything, so at what point if you show up at an emergency room with a serious injury or illness do we just allow you to die?"

How about now?…
Posted by ScreenName on March 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
@8 and @10: Yes, if Obama cured cancer, the Rs would be talking about how the *shareholders* of pharma companies are being hurt...
Posted by MLM on March 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Report this
"Right now, you can purchase an Individual plan in Washington State for as low as $120 a month."

Do you have a link for that? I'm wondering what is covered and what the limits are.

My opinion is that the concept of "insurance" for medical coverage is flawed at the core. It is NOT like car insurance. But this is still a step (however flawed) in the correct direction.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on March 27, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
JonnoN 19
Seriously, $120? That must be crappy insurance, otherwise why am I paying $440/mo for COBRA?
Posted by JonnoN on March 27, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
@12 - only if they don't find something "alarming" in your background. I once had an abnormal Pap smear (just one) and couldn't get coverage from any company that offered individual plans after that, even though all of the subsequent ones had been completely normal and my doctor wrote a letter for me attesting to the fact that a different lab was used that year for lab procedures. My only choice was COBRA at $600 month until that expired, then I joined the ranks of the uninsured. I would have welcomed being forced to pay $120-$140 month for Obamacare if it meant they couldn't turn me down
Posted by StuckInUtah on March 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this

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